Mike and I had planned for some time to getaway a few days after Christmas. The snow delayed our plans a little but we wanted to be safe. After visiting with family on Monday, we ventured to Ridgecrest Conference Center right outside of Asheville, North Carolina. If you are on church staff you should check out their incredible rate. We love this area and it was beautiful with the snow! Now it was a little tricky getting there- one lane through 16 miles of the mountains- so it took a little longer to arrive than we thought. However we were determined to have a good couple of days...... despite the fact I was coming down with a cold.
On Tuesday, we just hung out. We went to a restaurant we like a bunch but don't have near Cleveland- Cheddar's. We shopped a little and went to a movie. The movie was okay but I won't mention the title because we don't recommend it. We headed back to the conference center........ we like staying in Mountain Laurel. It was full of life because of all the youth there for a retreat. They enjoyed all the snow on the ground. It was really, really windy.
Well on Wednesday we had reservations to go over to Biltmore , we just didn't realize so did everyone else. We bought an annual pass when we were at Rec Lab back in the spring. If you plan on going more than one day, you should buy a pass. We did so saying we wanted to come back at Christmas to see the decorations. Well, we had no idea that the week after Christmas is their biggest week of the entire year. Note to anyone even thinking about going that week- just don't do it. I did find the decorations are put up in November - so maybe we should have gone then. Not to mention I am feeling pretty lousy by this time. One positive of the day is that because I had made reservations -that meant we got to go to the shortest line! Yipee! We then wind through the snowy winter wonderland and park. We hop out and head to the shuttle stop. We are told the have not cleared the ice from the over 1 mile trail so they are asking everyone to ride the shuttle. Okay no problem, I prefer to do that anyway. Well, 45 minutes later we finally get to board a shuttle. By this time we have missed our reservation time (as has everyone else). We are all told this is not a problem just to head on into the house. Oh my goodness it was wall to wall people. Not a great experience. Yes the trees and decorations were gorgeous. I think they oversold on this day. You basically were being herded through the house- not enjoyable. We loved our time at Biltmore before and will go again BUT never that week again. Here are some pictures we took (outside the house- since they do not allow pictures, video, etc. of anything inside the house):
Here is this picture from our trip in April .................. big difference huh!
We loved our time away........... although wish I had felt better (got lots of good medicine today from the doctor) and I wish Biltmore had not been so crowded. All in all I enjoyed some time away with Mike........... he gets so little time away!